Stratospheric warming in Southern Hemisphere high latitudes since 1979

by Y Hu, Q Fu
Atmos. Chem. Phys. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics ()
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In the present study, we show evidence of sig-nificant stratospheric warming over Southern Hemisphere high latitudes and large portions of the Antarctic polar re-gion in winter and spring seasons, with a maximum warm-ing of 7–8 • C in September and October, using satellite Mi-crowave Sounding Unit observations for 1979–2006. It is found that this warming is associated with increasing wave activity from the troposphere into the stratosphere, suggest-ing that the warming is caused by enhanced wave-driven adiabatic heating. We show that the stratospheric warm-ing in Southern Hemisphere high latitudes has close corre-lations with sea surface temperature (SST) increases, and that general circulation model simulations forced with ob-served time-varying SSTs reproduce similar warming trend patterns in the Antarctic stratosphere. The simulated strato-spheric warming is closely related to increasing wave activ-ity in the Southern Hemisphere. These findings suggest that the stratospheric warming is likely induced by SST warming. As SST warming continues as a consequence of greenhouse gas increases due to anthropogenic activity, the stratospheric warming would also continue, which has important implica-tions to the recovery of the Antarctic ozone hole.

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